Participating in Moral Monday impressed me with a sense of fraternity and hope in the face of policies and legislation that seem increasingly unjust and discriminatory, besides being detrimental to social mobility and environmental stewardship. The June 18 Moral Monday focused on environmental justice, climate justice, and health care.
Protestors throughout the event displayed signs rejecting fracking, promoting alternative energy production systems, and exposing failures of the health care system. Petitions and listserv signups circulated through the crowd as activists from all over the state met one another and rallied together. With the well-organized series of speakers on stage and the various pieces of literature being passed around, the spirit of the event was clearly outrage. The positivity of solutions offered and the support and pride the crowd devoted to those individuals willing to enter the legislative building in protest and risk arrest gave the event a quality of hope and joy.
The NAACP, Reverend Barber himself, and the committed participants of Moral Mondays show a deeply troubled and willingly active population of North Carolinians who do not agree with the actions of our state legislature. It should be noted, as it was by many speakers and participants at the rally, that this population is not a fringe group, not a group of outsiders. In fact, protesters adamantly displayed their home counties and the family lineage they can trace within the state. With many of the participants counting their age well over 40, it made their claims of multi-generational North Carolina heritage all the more poignant.
Though Moral Mondays will be ending its presence in Raleigh when this session of the legislature ends, I encourage all those who feel strongly about our state’s political atmosphere to get involved with local protests and petitions elsewhere. The movement hopes to branch out into individual communities from a platform of respectful dissent and support for positive change. Perhaps participating in these events can inspire hope in your hometown in the same way they have in Raleigh over recent weeks.
–Joey Shea, NCIPL Intern
North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL) is a program of the North Carolina Council of Churches. NCIPL works with faith communities to address the causes and consequences of global climate change and promote practical, hope-filled responses through education, outreach, and public policy advocacy. Please visit our website for information on our current programs, campaigns, and events.